18 Aug 2015

Ouch!!! My Baby Bites

 Nothing is safe from his gnashers, not even the swing. Disgusting, I know! 

In addition to being perpetually covered in puke and snot stains (you can read all about it here), I’m also covered in marks – bite marks to be precise, courtesy of my little man.

Since Alex cut his first few teeth, he’s been nibbling and biting on everything he can get his gnashers into, including me (and John, though not as much as me).

And, without wanting to sound like a wimp – it really hurts! And obviously, it’s not a particularly nice thing for Alex to do, even though, of course, he doesn’t do it with bad intent, he’s too young for that.

He’s teething badly at the moment, which is a factor in him chewing on everything and anything, but he also does it when he gets excited, and I actually think he uses it as a sign of affection, as he does it when we are cuddling and kissing and having lots of cwtches together (can you tell I’m married to a Welsh man? Love this word!), and it’s obvious that he is trying to kiss me back. I love his affections, so I don’t want to punish him or discourage him from them, but at the same time, I’m not really keen on running around with teeth marks on my cheeks either!

The problem is that I just cannot convey to him to stop and that it’s not a nice thing to do and hurts. Whenever he does it, I immediately say “no” with a stern facial expression, but he just thinks it’s funny and repeats it. Even when I say “nein” in German (getting the big guns out now, ha!), and look even more sternly, he giggles, and then does it again to provoke another reaction that makes him chuckle even more.

On occasion I’ve been giving him a gentle pat on the lips when he’s done it, but to no avail, and obviously I wouldn’t do it any more forceful, so it’s quite ineffective, too, as he just thinks it’s part of a game.

Of course I would like to nip it in the bud sooner rather than later, and before it becomes a habit that is even more difficult to break, especially as he is around other children and carers at nursery; thankfully, he has never bitten any of them  - yet - and I’d like to keep it that way.

I’ve looked for guidance on various forums, and the advice is fairly diverse and inconsistent. Here are some of the theories I have come across:

-         biting back 
-         crying uncontrollably to make them understand they have hurt you
-         lip smacking
-         putting their own hands in their mouth when they are about to bite, so they feel their own pain
-         persevering with repeated “no, we don’t bite” until they get it
-         hugging them after they’ve bitten in the way of “we don’t bite, we hug”

None of these seem particularly authoritative or like a convincing remedy to the problem (especially not the last one, which seems a bit odd to me, almost like rewarding him for biting).

The one method that I keep reading about and that seems to be most effective is the biting back, but I just cannot make myself do it – yet anyway, maybe when he is a bit older and can understand the cause and effect a bit better. In the meantime, I think I might try the crying and see what he does then.

If anyone has had a similar experienced with their little one, I’d be interested to know what worked for you and how you got on, so let me know in the comments below.


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1 comment

  1. My momma always says biting back works. She raised eight children and I once watched my nephew bite her and she bit him back and he looks so stunned and my sister in law said he never bit again. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me. I hope to see you again soon. #sharewithme

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